Among the city's teenagers, particularly boys, watching a 'blue film'—a euphemism for pornography— seems to have become a habit. Over the past few years, this furtive doing has taken over other extra-curricular activities.
On an investigative visit to different cybercafes in the city, this correspondent came across a revelation which may take parents aback.
A check of the web browsing history at a cyber café in Boring Road revealed that of the 100 web pages, 80 page titles referred to pornographic materials and porn video downloads.
Cybercafes in the city are mostly frequented by school and college-going boys and girls. Visitors, constituting boys and girls in a virtually equal number, download porn movies in their mobile phones and also store them in data cards.
Cybercafé owners have not limited themselves to allowing porn surfing to the visitors. Many have jumped on the flesh trade bandwagon as well. They provide beds, girls and also condoms to those looking for them.
During a raid on around 12-13 cybercafes in Gandhi Maidan, Kadamkuan, Kotwali and Buddha Colony police station areas on March 8, SP (City) Shivdeep Lande had found condoms and beds in a cybercafé.
Not only that, the cops had also caught 40 and odd couples in compromising position. Most of the couples were students in the age group of 16 to 18 years, belonging to well-off families.
Igniting the trend is easy accessibility of porn materials to these students. X-rated CDs and DVDs are flooding the city markets. It is alarming that children are the ones who are buying and selling them. Patna, of late, has become a major centre for the production and illegal sale of pornographic materials. Dozens of music shops are engaged in this business. "The children always want new products. And come looking for them," said a CD seller on busy Fraser Road, near Buddha Smriti Park.
About a dozen such stalls are situated around the railway station. Bakerganj, considered the city's largest electronic market, is believed to be the principal supplier of the CDs.
So high is the demand that a grocery shop near Kurji was found hoarding some of these DVDs. These shop owners display some popular CDs and then put the X-rated stuff beneath. Asked how they manage to escape the police net, he said, "The cops themselves come looking for DVDs as bribe. We gift them when they come."
In proof that flesh trade has caught up in upmarket apartments, hotels, guesthouses and in beauty parlours, Patna police had caught bar girls dancing semi-naked at a restaurant situated on Fraser Road in the night of May 8. The police had caught four girls, three bikes, one SUV and a huge cache of liquor. Earlier, such raids had also been conducted in upmarket apartments and beauty parlours, among other places.
The Patna police are up against such elements. "The police are actively working to check such elements. We will conduct raids whenever we get any tip," said Shivdeep Lande.